What is the right determinant of success? Most would say intelligence. After all, we have been taught that intelligent people are often smart and can find their way in life quite easily. They will race to their goal faster and more efficiently than those who have less IQ and are less intelligent. However, a study at Stanford University claims that it is not IQ but the attitude that can be a determinant of success.
According to researcher and psychologist, Carol Dweck, people have two kinds of mentality: growth and fixed mindset. A person with a fixed mindset knows that they cannot change their ways and so, when challenges come up, they resist and use the same methods again. However, a person with a growth mindset changes, takes conscious effort to improve themselves. A person with a growth mindset can outperform a person with a fixed mindset multiple times – even if they have a low IQ.
One of the ways to determine success is how you handle failure. Failure is actually a marker – either you can learn from it and say ‘Being a problem-solver, I can find another approach to this’. Or you can be affected by it, internalize it and avoid the problem entirely while being depressed about it.
There are certain strategies to help you develop the growth mindset:
Don’t Be Helpless
One of the worst things that happens is when people give up at times when nothing is going their way. Yes, it is a time when you feel terribly helpless. You feel like you have hit rock bottom. However, these are the times when you walk forward, learn from your mistakes, and try and move to a better area. You have experienced an event of growth.
Walt Disney got the sack from Kansas City Star due to his lack of imagination. Oprah Winfrey was let go from a morning show because she was too ‘emotionally invested’. Guess what, these perceived weaknesses became their strengths. Even Steven Spielberg was rejected at USC’s Cinematic Arts School. However, they had the growth mindset to learn from these. If they had a fixed mindset, they would wallow in self-pity and stay in the same place without growing.
If you want to be truly empowered, you have to follow your passion. Yes, you may not be naturally talented at it, but your hard work will make up for it. Talent without hard work is nothing. And if you are not talented, you can do better than a naturally talented person with your hard work. Use Buffet’s method to identify your passion. Write 25 things you love doing, cross out the last 20. The 5 remaining are what you really want to do with your life.
Start taking action and not worry about how things will turn out to be. Fixed mindset people lose a lot of their time worrying about things. However, for growth mindset people, worrying is just a waste of time. Why worry if you can use that worry and convert it into actions? They act and work on themselves to actively make the worry go away. Their action speaks louder than words.
Going The Extra Mile
When you are passionate about something, you are willing to go the extra mile. You don’t mind if it tires you out or if it’s the worst day of your life – you will work and make things happen for the day. You have daily goals and you will meet them, no matter what.
Bruce Lee and his encounter with a student is a perfect example of this. When one of his pupils was too tired after running 3 miles, Lee told him to do two more. He told his mentor that he would die if he did another mile. Bruce Lee said that he should do it then. Angry, the pupil started running and did two miles. When he confronted Lee afterward, Lee said that if he was going to quit, he should better die than quit. Exceeding your limits is what you need to do to achieve what you want in life.
Be hopeful and find results at the end of every task. A person with a growth mindset will try to find results in everything, even failure. They might know that they will fail at something, but they are willing to look at it with a result-searching point of view. That’s the way they learn and grow.
When you have a growth mindset, you will look at the world differently. If you face an obstacle, you will consider it as a friend that is trying to push you to be better. You won’t think that it is holding you back. You are constantly learning from it. So, be flexible and learn from obstacles. Don’t be a rigid wall and meet another fixed obstacle and clash. Find a way around.
Blaming others is such an easy thing to do. Stop blaming others and find solutions. People with a growth mindset do not waste time blaming other people. Rather, they would find solutions to problems and move on.
Make your mind more growth-oriented. Look at failures as pillars of success. That will make you a successful person in the future.